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4Play: Pete Yorn, Marc Cohn, The Who, Mumford & Sons

Kristi Kates - September 27th, 2010
Pete Yorn - Pete Yorn - Vagrant
Singer-songwriter Yorn, a veteran of the indie-folk scene, threw this
set together with far less foresight and planning than one would think
for a collection of songs of this quality. The album was actually
recorded in five days by Yorn along with The Pixies’ Frank Black in an
impromptu studio, eleven songs in all with minimal production and a
whole lot of Yorn-style musical introspection. The album’s first
single, “Sans Fear,” finds Yorn pondering the end of a relationship,
but he recovers fairly quickly (at least album-side) once the
follow-up tunes arrive, from “Rock Crowd” (an ode to his fans), the
witty “Velcro Shoes,” and the singledom anthem “Future Life.”

Marc Cohn - Listening Booth: 1970 - Saguaro Road Records
Casual Cohn listeners will most likely recollect his first hit (that’s
still a radio staple), “Walking in Memphis,” with its Tennessee town
imagery and Elvis references; but Cohn’s got a lot more than that up
his musical sleeves. In addition to his other original works, he’s
taken on this interesting self-assigned task; to take classic songs
from a certain year (in this case, obviously, 1970), and interpret
them his way, a cover album with a focus, if you will. He applies his
neofolk skills here to the likes of songs by John Lennon, Van
Morrison, Smokey Robinson, Simon and Garfunkel and Cat Stevens, among
others, all pushed through the boards by the talented producer John
Leventhal.

The Who - Live at the Isle of Wight - Eagle Records
Often considered one of the best live shows of The Who on audio
record, the band cranked out the rock well into the dark of night
during this concert, the pinnacle of a legendary concert fest that
also included performances by Miles Davis and The Doors. The Who
performs most of Tommy on this revitalized set, and includes plenty of
songs that are known today as classic, timeless The Who singles -
“Pinball Wizard,” “My Generation,” and “Magic Bus” among them. Thirty
tracks in all help encapsulate the concert evening into a great
reminiscence, and a more than worthy Who album to add to your
collection.

Mumford & Sons - Sigh No More - Glass Note
They seemed to arrive out of nowhere late this past summer, this
quartet of old-timey folk-pop-rockers from West London; but Mumford
and Sons have actually been around, albeit under the scene, since
2007. The four musician pals’ sound is most remiscent of Kings of
Leon, with this new album having been produced by Markus Dravs, who
most recently added his skills to one of Arcade Fire’s sets. Layered
harmonies and acoustic instruments set the stages for songs like the
title track, with its spare arrangement; other highlights include “The
Cave,” “I Gave You All,” and “Dust Bowl Dance,” alternately festooned
with everything from guitars to retro banjo sounds.

 
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